UK Balint Society Leadership accreditation

Pathway, criteria for accreditation, training programme and supervision

If you are interested in training as a Balint group leader please get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity and follow the pathway below. You will need to: 

  • have experience of being in a Balint group
  • have experience of leading Balint groups and supervision with an accredited leader
  • attend Balint society leadership training days and weekends

Pathway to accreditation

1.     Register on the accreditation pathway at the earliest opportunity by filling in the Leadership accreditation application form detailing all your experience of Balint work and send it to the leadership team at Please put any additional relevant information on the end of the form.

Please do not send the form to the secretary.

2.     Join the Balint society on line.  You need to be a member to become accredited

3.     The leadership team will advise you on a training pathway appropriate to your needs.  You will need to have an appropriate supervisor from the beginning.  This is normally one to one with an accredited Balint leader who has experience of supervision.  The leadership team can put you in touch.

4.     Join a local Balint leaders peer supervision group if you can.

5.     Keep a record on your form of Balint groups you attend, those you lead, and Balint society events you come to.

6.     Discuss your progress with your supervisor. Along the way, if you or your supervisor have any queries please contact the leadership team.

7.     When you both feel you are ready for accreditation send your up to date accreditation form, and a reference from your supervisor to the leadership team.

8.     Your accreditation will be reviewed by the leadership team who will advise you if they are happy to put you forward to the next council meeting for consideration.   If not, they will advise what further experience they feel would be appropriate.

9.     The Balint society council is responsible for agreeing a person’s accreditation.   Appeals can be made directly to the council about any decision.

10.  After accreditation we recommend that all leaders continue ongoing supervision, individually and/or in a group.  If you would like to discuss starting a peer supervision group in your area, please contact the leadership team.   Many leaders also find it useful to be in a Balint group themselves.  There are opportunities to do this at Balint weekends.

Leadership team contact

Leadership accreditation application form 2016

Supervisor reference for Balint Leadership Accreditation application 2016

Balint society events  Details of training days, weekends and regional peer supervision groups can be found on our events page. Events are normally posted at least three months in advance.

Criteria for accreditation of Balint Group Leaders by the Balint Society UK    September 2018

The following are intended as guidelines and not prescriptive rules.  The intention is to be flexible and encouraging to those who show interest in training as Balint group leaders whilst indicating a desirable set of standards and encouraging the continual development of leaders.

  1. Is a member of the UK Balint Society
  2. Usually has professional training in a health or health related field. Other professional groups may also use the Balint method eg clergy, teachers.
  3. Has acquired experience in ordinary Balint groups.
  4. Has a supervisor and demonstrates competencies in running Balint groups.  Will submit the written report/reference from the supervisor to the leadership team.
  5. Competencies of a Balint group leader
    1. Encourage the development of a safe and free environment within the group and awareness of the importance of protecting the boundaries of the group.
    2. Focus the work on an exploration of the relationship between patient and the doctor/ health care professional, rather than seeking solutions or teaching.
    3. Demonstrate an awareness of group processes and unconscious processes that are likely to affect the task of the group.
    4. Demonstrate an openness to learning about their personal style in leading a group and awareness that their attitudes and responses will influence the dynamics of the group.
    5. Recognise that becoming an accredited Balint leader is not an end in itself and will require ongoing development as a leader.

We hope that accredited leaders will engage in the work of the Balint society, helping to develop Balint work both regionally and nationally.

Required Experience and Training Programme

We are looking at a portfolio of experience and would expect an accredited leader to be able to confidently lead a Balint group in a variety of settings. The following are guidelines for the minimum experience for accreditation.   Experience of leading a group in only one setting may not be sufficient and a variety of opportunities should be sought, which may include co-leading a group at a Balint weekend.  If you are leading a group on your own you should also seek opportunities to co-lead a group.

Experience as a member of a Balint group

  • If you have psychoanalytic/psychodynamic training: At least 8 group sessions during or after professional training OR 2 Balint Society weekends as an ordinary group member
  • If you have NO psychoanalytic training: At least 20 group sessions in an ongoing group or at Balint Society weekends in ordinary Balint groups

Training requirements

  • Co-lead one or more  Balint groups (20 sessions minimum), with a Balint Society accredited leader if possible. 
  • Attend at least two Balint Society weekend leadership groups, or equivalent leadership training days provided by the Society. We prefer you to attend at least one two day event as this is a more immersive experience than single days
  • Develop a portfolio and demonstrate development of competencies with a supervisor.
  • Have supervision on your leadership of one or more groups for a period of time until the supervisor is happy to give a written report on your competencies and you feel ready to apply.


The leadership team can put you in touch with a supervisor.  If you are already having supervision from someone who is not an accredited leader please discuss this with the leadership team as it may be appropriate for you to have a period of supervision with an accredited leader as well.

  • The supervisor is an accredited Balint group leader with experience of supervision. The supervisor is encouraged to attend Balint society training days for supervisors
  • The supervisor will conduct supervision in the most appropriate way eg face to face, skype, telephone.  Supervision will normally be on a one to one, or one to two basis.
  • If the trainee is co-leading a group the other leader should join in the supervision for at least some of the supervision sessions.
  • If the supervisor is co-leading a group with the trainee then another accredited leader will provide supervision to the supervisor, to provide triangulation of the experience.
  • The supervisor will encourage the leader in training to make their own notes on groups they attend.  The supervisor and trainee will agree the need for any written presentation to the supervisor.  
  • The supervisor will encourage a range of experience for the trainee as above
  • The supervisor and trainee can contact the leadership team to discuss issues/queries as they arise if they wish.
  • The supervisor will provide a written reference for the trainee, which will be shared with the trainee and forwarded it to the leadership team
  • Suggested supervisor fee £60 – 80 per hour (2019)

Leadership accreditation application form 2016

Supervisor reference for Balint Leadership Accreditation application 2016